Posts tagged ‘Electro’

Action 286 – kryptonite ketchup, and Lex Luthor kills himself

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Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and George Klein tell a story in Action 286 (March 1962) about a group of villains, but not the ones you expect.  Electro makes his second and last cover appearance.

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The Superman Revenge Squad make their first adult appearance, following their debut two months earlier as the Superboy Revenge Squad in Superboy.  These are a group of aliens who spend an awful lot of time coming up with ridiculously complex methods of exacting this revenge.

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In this story, they capture Krypto, and try out a variety of red kryptonite meteors on him, until they find one that induces nightmares.  In Krypto’s case, being tormented by Streaky and Titano.

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So the leader uses an invisibility ray on himself, comes to Earth, and puts the red kryptonite into a bottle of ketchup.  Yes, he does.  Because Clark, Lois and Jimmy all ordered the exact same lunch.  So Superman eats his kryptonite burger, and starts getting nightmares.

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The Revenge Squad are monitoring all of this.  Their monitors are truly amazing.  Not only can they see anywhere on Earth, they can even broadcast Superman’s dreams.  Jimmy is staying overnight at the Fortress of Solitude.  For some reason, he is sleeping directly in front of the door to his room.  Perhaps he really wanted to sleep under the big statue of himself.  But couldn’t Superman have provided something better than fold-up cots?  Anyway, I’ll just leave the mention of Superman quivering.

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So Superman has his first nightmare, meeting descendants of Lana Lang and Pete Ross, who have gotten married, and lead an attack on him.

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Superman’s second dream is even better, with the villains from the cover – Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Electro, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen pitting him against Supergirl.

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Supergirl gets sent to the Phantom Zone, and earth gets destroyed, Superman wakes up freaking out and upset.

While it’s true that the cover image is “just a dream,” at least the story never pretends otherwise, and the dreams are actually part of the plot against him.

The story concludes in the next chapter.

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Supergirl begins a new phase of her career, operating in public, in this Siegel and Mooney story.

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After some pleasant homey stuff, as Linda and Dick Malverne watch tv together while the Danvers look on approvingly, the story shifts over to Lex Luthor, who escapes from prison.  While the story does not directly address the Lesla-Lar Supergirl that Lex had met, his certainty that Supergirl is really a robot seems to be the conclusion he has drawn from this.

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He intentionally draws out Supergirl, but she proves to not be a robot, and Luthor winds up fleeing.  He has a death-ray, which he winds up shooting at himself when the car swerves.

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After a somewhat obligatory stop in Atlantis, with Lori Lemaris and Jerro floating around, Supergirl picks up some rare elements, and brings Luthor back to life.  He is not grateful.

Action 271 – Superman heads into space, and Supergirl builds her own Fortress

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Binder and Plastino are the creative team on the Superman story in Action 271 (Dec. 60), as Electro (not named in this issue) makes his first of two cover appearances.

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In this story the odd character is simply referred to as one of the “light tube people,” who uses his odd little spaceship to perform some helpful acts, before enlisting Superman’s aid.  His planet is in deadly danger, and he requests Superman’s help.  Superman gets into the tiny sphere.

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It’s really all a hoax, and a trap, designed by Lex Luthor.

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The lead-lined sphere is attached to a bomb which will blow up Metropolis if Superman breaks out.

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Luthor then sends a Superman impersonator to the United Nations, where he makes a pleading case that everyone turn over their nuclear weapons, so that he can use them to save the world of the light tube people.  Oddly, everyone agrees.  This is clearly a much more compassionate world than the Earth in our reality.

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Superman’s escape is pretty clever, as he heats the air within the sphere to make it float like a balloon, and waits for lightning to short out the bomb.

Now you may be wondering, if Electro did not really exist in this story, how does he make a second cover appearance?

Wait and find out!

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Siegel and Mooney have Supergirl adopted yet again in this story.

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It begins as she builds her own, underground, Fortress of Solitude, complete with models of herself and her friends.  For some reason, she feels it necessary to label the Linda Lee statue as her secret identity.  In case she forgets?

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No matter what the reason, it was a very bad idea, as archaeologists break into the Fortress.  The leader of the team hypnotizes everyone else to forget what they have seen.

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He and his wife then adopt Linda, and are very nice to her, but use her to get rich.  It’s not long before she figures out what is going on.  They then reveal that they know her identity.

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Streaky the Super-Cat saves the day, accidentally lobotomizing the corrupt couple with his x-ray vision.  They lose all memory of Supergirl’s identity, and make a lame excuse to return Linda to the orphanage.

 

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